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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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202                               LIFE   OF
turning homewards by way of Champagne., Metz,, and
Mayence.
Humboldi/s enthusiasm was not so great as that of
Campe,, and he left France with far less glowing ex-
pectations for the future. Forster writes to Jacobi
*some days after the return of the travellers ; " The
wanderer William Humboldt is here still, and although
he speaks no longer of Parisian—not Paradisaical—
freedom., still he helps us to season life, which without
such seasoning would indeed be "very insipid/*
Humboldt intended to spend the remainder of the
summer in a journey to the TJpfjper Rhine, Suabia and
Switzerland, as he wished to neutralize and temper
the effect of the political excitement and super-civili-
zation of Parisian life on his mind by intercourse with
Ms intellectual friends, and in the enjoyment of nature.
Before he could  leave   Mayence,   however,   he was
partly drawn into the paper war at that time existing1
between the Berlin philosophers and Forster., Jaeobi,
and others^ on account of supposed secret Jesuitical
societies, which had ostensibly been disco vered, and were
the occasion of the display of much liberal intolerance.
Humboldt exerted Ms influence to temper the aeerbity
of party animosity, and induced Forster to  modify
many of Ms tirades.
His journey through Switzerland was beautifelly
recorded in Ms letters to Forster. Men and scenes
are grapMcally and poetically described^ and every
letter is a splendid specimen of his philosophy.
From Mayence Humboldt travelled over Mannheim
to Heidelberg, remaining two days in Alannheiin*
Iffiandj the hero and ornament of the stage there, was
absent., and Humboldt regretted Ms absence the more
as he wished to make his personal acquaintance. The
theatre was not good, although JZmilia Galotki *was
performed. The ladies^ who were tolerably good per-
formers, failed, to his idea^ to give the noble simplicity
Ewwlia, and the great mind and deep feelxag of
In the picture gallery few pieces attracted